Ad Alert

Alka-Seltzer Hangover Relief

Hangover relief claims are disease-treatment claims requiring FDA approval.

Ad Alert

Alka-Seltzer Hangover Relief

Thirteen years after offering to “Buy U A Drank,” T-Pain wants to Sell U A Hangover Remedy.

Last summer, Alka-Seltzer announced that it was partnering with the rapper to launch Alka-Seltzer Hangover Relief. A company exec said in a press release:

With this new product, we’re taking the fear out of that dreaded morning-after-a-few-drinks feeling so that people can go enjoy themselves knowing we’ve got their backs, while providing an entertaining way to engage with a younger audience through the reimagining of the iconic Alka-Seltzer jingle, “plop plop, fizz fizz – oh, what a relief it is.”

It’s not our job to comment on reimagined advertising jingles so we’ll leave that to others more suited to the task. What we can tell you is that the FDA considers a hangover to be “a sign or symptom of alcohol intoxication, a disease.” Therefore, claims to relieve hangovers are claims to relieve a sign or symptom of a disease – in other words, they are disease-treatment claims that only FDA-approved drugs can make, as the FDA has made clear in warning letters to companies it has found illegally selling hangover products.

Another issue with the campaign is its targeting of a “younger audience.” The June 2022 press release announcing the T-Pain partnership noted Alka-Seltzer was inviting fans “to take part in a TikTok dance challenge, showing off their moves to the remix alongside T-Pain.” A 2022 Pew Research Center survey found that two-thirds of teenagers ages 13 to 17 use TikTok. Also of note, directions on the product label indicate that children under 18 should “consult a doctor” before taking the product, leaving us to wonder: Did Alka-Seltzer forget the legal drinking age in the U.S. is 21?

Finally, while Alka-Seltzer claims its product is “specially designed to help you bounce back fast, even from your worst hangovers,” according to the product label, each tablet contains 500mg of aspirin and 65mg of caffeine, the equivalent of one tablet of extra strength aspirin and a cup of coffee. reached out to Alka-Seltzer’s parent company, Bayer, for comment. Check back for updates.

Find more of our coverage on purported hangover remedies here.

Our Ad Alerts are not just about false and deceptive marketing issues, but may also be about ads that, although not necessarily deceptive, should be viewed with caution. Ad Alerts can also be about single issues and may not include a comprehensive list of all marketing issues relating to the brand discussed.

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